MX23RW : Thursday, July 19 13:51:50
Jun 12, 2014 at 9pm UK
Brazil
3-1
Croatia
Neymar (29', 71' pen.), Oscar (90')
Neymar (27'), Gustavo (88')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Marcelo (11' og.)
Corluka (66'), Lovren (69')

Result: Brazil come from behind to beat Croatia in 2014 World Cup opener

Neymar scores twice to inspire Brazil to a come-from-behind victory over Croatia in the opening match of the 2014 World Cup.

Neymar scored twice as Brazil came from a goal down to beat Croatia 3-1 in the opening match of the 2014 World Cup this evening.

Neymar of Brazil celebrates his second goal with Hernanes in the second half during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Brazil and Croatia at Arena de Sao Paulo on June 12, 2014© Getty Images

It was the visitors who carved out the first chance of the match as Ivan Perisic found Ivica Olic with a cross, but the winger could only plant his header a yard wide having peeled away from Dani Alves.

Brazil weren't so lucky three minutes later as Croatia stunned the hosts by taking the lead, albeit with a helping hand from Marcelo.

Marcelo and David Luiz of Brazil watch as a ball is deflected into the net in the first half during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Brazil and Croatia at Arena de Sao Paulo on June 12, 2014© Getty Images

Olic made his way down the left flank before pulling a low ball into the box that eluded Nikica Jelavic and David Luiz but not Marcelo, who turned the ball into his own net.

Brazil immediately set about looking for an equaliser, but Stipe Pletikosa was on hand to beat away a powerful Paulinho effort in the 21st minute.

The Croatian keeper was alert again moments later as he pushed an Oscar effort away from danger, while Hulk missed the target shortly afterwards.

Neymar of Brazil celebrates scoring a first half goal with Marcelo and Hulk during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Brazil and Croatia at Arena de Sao Paulo on June 12, 2014© Getty Images

The equaliser did finally come in the 29th minute as Neymar was allowed space to shoot from 25 yards, and the Barcelona forward found the bottom corner with an accurate effort that was just out of the reach of Pletikosa.

Chances were hard to come by after the break until Brazil were gifted a glorious opportunity to take the lead when Fred was adjudged to have been pulled down in the area by Dejan Lovren.

Neymar stepped up to the spot kick and just about squeezed it in, although Pletikosa will feel that he should have saved it having got two strong hands to the ball.

Neymar of Brazil takes a penalty kick in the second half during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Brazil and Croatia at Arena de Sao Paulo on June 12, 2014© Getty Images

The hosts had a chance for a third in the 77th minute as Oscar's delivery found Luiz at the back post, but the Paris Saint-Germain-bound defender nodded over when Neymar was better positioned.

Neymar almost turned creator shortly afterwards as his corner was met by Fred at the front post, but the flick-on flew dangerously across the face of goal before going out for a throw.

Croatia began to crank up the pressure in the closing stages, with Luka Modric testing Julio Cesar from range with a low drive after the visitors had seen a goal disallowed.

Perisic called Cesar into action again in stoppage time before Brazil broke up the other end and put the result beyond doubt courtesy of Oscar's toe-poked finished into the corner from outside the box.

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Neymar of Brazil celebrates scoring a first half goal with Marcelo and Hulk during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Brazil and Croatia at Arena de Sao Paulo on June 12, 2014
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